Regional fields

France, Algeria, Egypt

Thematic fields

memories, patrimony and migration, dynamics of religious rituals and practices, ethics and health


diaspora, memory, death, mourning, exile, transmission

> Lire cette page en français

JPEG - 45.3 kb
Cinema Rio, street Al Horreya (ex street Fouad),
Alexandria, 2010 (photo M. Baussant)

Michèle Baussant’s research focuses on the memory dynamics of populations that have experienced at least one migratory displacement, for economic and/or political reasons, a displacement most often experienced as “forced”. She also studies the transmission of this experience, both within and outside of families.

From this perspective, she is interested, firstly, in populations that experimented with a kind of globalisation during the creation of the European colonial empires of the 19th and 20th centuries, particularly in Algeria and Egypt, and were then expelled from these countries en masse, willingly or by force, without hope of return. She is currently exploring this theme through research into the different “minorities” of Egypt, said to be either foreign or Egyptianised, and into how people develop different ways of relating to the past, to its reclamation, to exile and to returning home, according to their particular historical circumstances and social context. The social conditions that inform the process of recollection are specifically understood through the analysis of community groups that supply a framework for the expression of collective memory and the construction of heritage.

JPEG - 46.8 kb
High Mass for Ascension,
Notre Dame de Santa Cruz sanctuary,
Nîmes, 1997 (photo M. Baussant)

JPEG - 48.4 kb
Greek Orthodox cemetery, Alexandria, 2010
(photo M. Baussant)

Secondly, she is exploring the interwoven themes of memory, migration and expulsion in the context of an ongoing study on male and female migrant workers imprisoned in Lebanon.

She has also studied the mourning that healthcare workers experience in contexts of death and end-of-life support inside and/or outside institutions. This research is structured around an examination of the culture of practices (healing, communication, etc.), ethical suffering, the notion of urgency in the context of palliative care, model construction in medicine and death typologies.

Principal publications

  • 2012, Caught between two worlds: The Europeans of Algeria, in Irial Glynn et Olaf Kleist (ed.), History, memory and migration (London, Editions Palgrave): 87–105.
  • 2011 (with A. Bercovitz), Accompagner le deuil: des repères pour les soignants, Médecine palliative, 10 (3): 125–129.
  • 2010, Religion, mémoire, transmission et modernité, in R. Azria and D. Hervieu-Léger (eds), Dictionnaire des faits religieux (Paris, PUF): 711–714.
  • 2009, Entre quête et enquête: la distance dans le terrain ethnographique, Ateliers du LESC, 33 http://ateliers.revues.org/8205 [special issue: F. Fogel and I. Rivoal (eds), La relation ethnographique, terrains et textes. Mélanges offerts à Raymond Jamous].
  • 2007 éd., Mémoires plurielles, mémoires en conflit [special issue], Ethnologie française, 37 (3).
  • 2006 éd., Du vrai au juste: la mémoire, l’histoire et l’oubli (Québec, Presses de l’université Laval).
  • 2002, Pieds-noirs. Mémoires d’exils (Paris, Stock) [Un ordre d’idées].
  • 2000, “Des Grecs” au musée ou l’instrument muséal au service de la construction d’une identité communautaire, in T. Dekker, J. Helsloot, C. Wijers (eds), Roots and rituals: The construction of ethnic identities (Amsterdam, Het Spinhuis): 719–732.


Publications available at the Éric-de-Dampierre library


Contrat Creative Commons
The contents of this page (with the exception of book cover images) is made available according to the terms of the Creative Commons License Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported.

Mis à jour le 18 June 2015

Chargée de recherche, CNRS
Institut français de Jérusalem (USR 3132)
[Associate Research Professor CNRS]